Sometimes honesty means sharing difficult information. That can be sensitive if the
person delivering the news feels self-righteous in the name of “being honest.” Being
honest may include different opinions, different wisdom, and different ideas but that
doesn’t override someone else’s truths. Being honest isn’t about being right or being
superior, it is about sharing thoughts and opinions in a genuine and loving way.
Here are some tips for being honest without being rude:
Tip #1. Recognize You Aren’t Superior- If you are about to share your honest
opinions, ideas, or thoughts, it’s imperative that you understand that they are just that –
opinions, ideas, and thoughts. They are not superior to anyone else’s and therefore
carry no more weight or value. Being humble and offering your honesty with grace is
always the best policy.
Tip #2. Pick the Right Time and Place- If your honesty is going to differ from someone
else’s or might cause sensitivity, consider the right time and place to deliver the
honesty. Some honesty is better delivered in private and in person. Choose the right
way to approach the situation if it is going to be difficult.
Tip #3. Create an Honesty Sandwich- Difficult news is best served between two slices
of kindness. In the case of honesty, be sure to begin your comments with something
positive and wonderful about the other person, then deliver the honesty, finish up with
another comment that is uplifting and builds the person up.
Tip #4. Don’t Text or Email Difficult Honesty- Just as timing is everything, so is how
you deliver sensitive honesty. Approaching someone via text or email is rude. Be sure
to have a verbal conversation and either deliver the news or forewarn them that
something sensitive is coming their way. No one likes to be blindsided.
Tips #5. Use Active Listening to Be Sure Your Message is Clear: Active listening is
the art of delivering information and asking questions to be sure the other party clearly
understood the intent of the message. If you share an honesty, be sure that the person clearly understands the context and intent of your message. Make any clarifications or
explanations if needed.
Being honest is a preferable way to be. It doesn’t condone being rude in the name of
honesty. Being able to be honest in a way that doesn’t alienate or belittle is the key.
Using these tips will make it easier to be honest without wounding others or making you
look rude.